What’s In a Name?

Tony - Note


It’s official.  “Will Write for Food (and maybe dental)” is now “A Way with Words”.  Why, you ask?

Well, it happened like this…

I was in church this morning (a different church than I usually attend), standing and swaying to some contemporary Christian music I didn’t know.  At my usual church, I really enjoy the music.  They have stringed instruments for accompaniment (no drums – there will be no drums in heaven) and though the melodies are often upbeat, the lyrics have deep meaning.  Sometimes the lyrics are new, but they almost always have a depth of theological meaning and are aesthetically pleasing.

The songs we sang today, however, were different.  They are within a genre known as “Praise and Worship” songs.  They are meant, I believe, to foster reflection and meditation on particular words and phrases that repeat a lot.

Some time ago, I went to a “Worship Music” conference (that was actually promoting “Praise and Worship” music) and they jokingly shared what a “Praise and Worship” song would be like if you substituted secular words.  It would go something like this…

The cow.

The cow is in the corn.

The cow is in the corn.

The corn.

The corn.

The cow is in the corn.





You get the point.

So, I was standing there, listening and swaying to the music and I found my mind wandering a bit to my blog.  I’m not really using it to look for work anymore (my search for work is leading me to other avenues).  Instead, I am using it to hone my abilities as a wordsmith (and encourage others to do the same).  I like the original blog title, but it is more self-deprecating (and desperate) than I really want to be.

I’m not a great writer, but I do have “A Way With Words”.

6 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. So, I’ve read this and the aforementioned ‘full of sap,’ and I look forward to reading more!

    Which comtemporary songs did you hear? As a member of a praise band, I pride myself on knowing a looooooot of contempo-Christian!

    • I hope I didn’t offend you with my take on some contemporary Christian songs. During my pastorate, I was actually a strong proponent of introducing “Praise” music into a more “blended” service.

      I can’t remember the names of the songs they sang today. I did recognize the names of Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin as the co-composers of two of them. I actually enjoy some of their work, and can’t help but think that since there were other names on the co-composer list, Redman and Tomlin played a minor role in them. They just really had no theological depth and even some of the rhymes and rhythms were forced.

      Having said that, let me say there are definitely some great songs I’ve sung at “Praise and Worship” services. “God of Wonders” is really good. “Shout to the Lord” is another good one. There are many others.

      What are some contemporary Christian songs you would recommend to challenge my perception? I would welcome your suggestions.

  2. “Shout to the Lord” is one of my old favorites. We sing it a few times each year at my church’s blended service.

    I recommend “Your Grace is Enough,” “How He Loves,” but something that’s really been on my heart lately is “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards. Also, “I Will Waste My Life,” by the same artist, has great theology behind it. Plus, the harmonies and instrumentals are heart-wrenching.

    If you have a chance, definitely check the latter two out first, as I’m curious to hear (read?) your reaction!

  3. Call me old-fashioned, but I love the old “high church” songs and don’t know of any contemporary song that can beat some of the great ones — “Hallelujah Chorus,” “All Creatures of our God and King,” “Crown Him with Many Crowns” and others. I do enjoy many contemporary songs, and appreciate churches that incorporate songs from all eras into their worship services. I regret that the profound messages of the older multi-verse lyrics are almost lost to some of the younger generation. Incidentally, I grew up in (and still belong to) churches that sing exclusively a cappella, so this may account for my love of poetic or profound lyrics. Without instruments, the words seem to stand out more, at least to me.

    • I’m with you. I will say, however, that in the church I’m currently attending, they do a good job of blending the poetic and profound lyrics of older (as well as some newer) hymns to contemporary, stringed-instrument, accoustic accompaniment. I attended a church for about 4 years that sang exclusively a cappella and yes, if the congregation accepts its role as the sole instruments of “making a joyful noise unto the Lord”, it can be quite beautiful. Thank you for chiming in.

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